go to MSN.com
Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/13/14

Via Larry Brown Sports:

The number of African-American players on Major League Baseball opening day rosters this season was historically low. Only 7.7% of the players on all 30 MLB rosters are African-American, which is the lowest percentage since the Boston Red Sox became the final team to integrate their roster in 1959. Bud Selig is hoping to change that in the near future.

According to USA Today Sports, Selig is expected to announce the creation of a formal task force this week that will aim to reverse the decline in African-American ballplayers across the league. The project will reportedly consist of a 17-member committee that includes owners, executives and coaches. It is expected to include Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and Chicago White Sox vice president Kenny Williams, among others.

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan said he believes the low number of African-American stars in the MLB today has resulted in a lack of role models for young African-American players.

“I never thought I’d see anything like this,” Morgan told USA TODAY Sports on Tuesday. “But I’ve seen it coming. There, for a long time, there were a lot of African-American players to look up to and emulate, but there’s not enough big stars now to dissuade them from basketball and football.”

Four MLB teams, the St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers opened their season this year without a single African-American player on their roster and 18 teams have two or fewer African-American players currently on their rosters.

However, there have been some small signs that the trend could be reversing. Last year, seven African-American players were selected in the first round of the MLB draft, which is the most since 1992. Reds outfielder Derrick Robinson, who was offered a scholarship to play football at Florida in 2006 but chose baseball instead, said the risks involved with playing football could help increase the number of African-American players in baseball.

“You look at those kind of things, and that’s why I talk to guys trying to get them to play baseball,” Robinson said. “Some of them say it’s boring, but hey, I love it. It’s so much better on the body and for longevity. Besides, you look at this game now, and it’s changing. The game’s being revolutionized now with speed and defense. We need all of the great athletes we can get.”

When you hear stories like this, you realize how big of an issue concussions and head shots have become in the NFL. From a physical standpoint, it seems to make sense that an MLB career could be longer than an NFL career. Whether or not that increases the number of African-American players on MLB rosters remains to be seen.

3 Comments:
  • Why in the world should the race of a person be on the mind of Bud Selig. If a person is good enough to play in the Major Leagues it shouldn't matter if they are green. Stop trying to be so politically correct Bud. There are much bigger problems in the game. Getting a game that's free of cheaters and drugs would come to mind. Maybe making it so a family could afford to go to more then one or two games a year without taking out a loan. Maybe getting rid of some of the franchise's that have no chance of competing because the talent in the big leagues is so inferior. If more african americans were good enough and more importantly interested in baseball then they would be playing.
  • The issue of the pace of the game is definitely a problem but more fundamental is access. Access as it relates to youngsters in the inner city areas. Baseball needs space so all of the Baseball is played in the burbs where few if any of the "elite" athletes in a particular locality leaving the African American athlete stranded on the outdoor courts and minimal dimension areas of his neighborhood. The RBI program that MLB started some years ago while a noble effort, was a band aid for a broken leg...too little in too few places. Baseball has become sort of a country club sport where the powers that be don't have to go back into the city and their children don't have to be exposed to THAT atmosphere. I've recently attended a few HS Baseball games and have yet to see more that two African American players on any team.
  • The NBA is 77% black and 21% white of which 55% are white americans and 45% from other countries.So what is the NBA doing about this? Over 70% of the NFL players are black. The point is who cares!
    I agree with mbutts41, Bud should be concentrating on real issues and stop his white guilt BS.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
RUMORS & GOSSIP

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Australian cricket star Phil Hughes, who suffered a head injury during a Sheffield Shield game at Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday, has died.The 25-year old cricketer collapsed face first on the ground after being hit by a ball thrown by bowler Sean Abbott. Hughes was stretchered off the pitch before being put in a medically-induced coma at the hospital.Australia team doctor Peter...
Via The Other Paper
9 hours ago

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Tweet The timeline may be off for the Chicago Cubs to have the Wrigley Field bleacher renovation done by opening day. Cubs spokesman Julian Green says unseasonably cold and windy weather is partly to blame. He also says city of Chicago crews installing a new water main are also keeping the Cubs from starting deep foundational work. The home opener against St. Louis is April...
Via Los That Sports Blog
1 day ago

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

A few weeks ago we learned that Jimmy Rollins was not willing to go to the Mets in any trade, but did not necessarily rule out going elsewhere. As the offseason opened, we learned that the Yankees might consider Rollins to take over shortstop in place of the retiring Derek...
Via Philliedelphia
1 day ago

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

AT&T CENTER – There’s a first time for everything, and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina will indeed make his mark in NBA history, as he’ll become the first Italian born coach, to be the head coach of an NBA game Wednesday when the Spurs host the Indiana Pacers. “Pop had this minor medical […]
Via Project Spurs
21 hours ago

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Games starting at 10pm ET? Ridiculous. Staying up until after midnight does no fan any good, and it’s all ESPN’s fault The evil four-letter network is ruining the games we all love. At least those are some of the rants we’ve heard from fans in the past regarding football and basketball game times fit to television windows and not fan convenience. After Tuesday night’s loss...
Via Talking 10
1 day ago

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler still hasn’t forgotten how he was treated last season with the New York Knicks. He has heard about how the Knicks claim that team chemistry is better without him this season. He even remembers the comments that team president Phil Jackson made that Chandler considered a shot at his professionalism. Now with Chandler returning to New York...
Via No Guts, No Glory
1 day ago

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Former Buffalo Bills safety Donte Whitner, now a member of the Cleveland Browns, faces his old team this Sunday, but it certainly looks like he'll be getting no love from the Bills' home crowd, and especially not from running back Fred Jackson. Jackson went sour on Whitner after the Browns safety joked on Twitter about the team, up for sale at the time, moving to Canada...
Via 60 Max Power O
23 hours ago

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Devon Still issued a statement Wednesday in response to allegations that he is delinquent on child support payments, charges made by ex-girlfriend Channing Smythe and originally reported by the New York Daily News. Still denied the allegations, arguing that the legal battle ensuing between the parties be held in the courts,...Read More The post...
Via Sportress of Blogitude
1 day ago

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

  Getty Images The Diamondbacks have signed Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas to a six-year deal worth $68.5 million.   It is a bit of a surprise to see Tomas signed prior to Thanksgiving especially after he initially was said to be seeking a contract in excess of the $72.5 million given to Rusney Castillo of the Red Sox in August. Breaking: Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas...
Via Tireball.com
23 hours ago

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Josh Gordon admits that even though it’s been great returning to the Cleveland Browns after serving his 10-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, he’s felt somewhat alienated by some of those within the organization he once considered friends. Gordon made the revealing comments about how he’s felt he’s received the cold shoulder from...Read More...
Via Sportress of Blogitude
1 day ago
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.